How much time do you spend on your finances each week? Stay on track with your financial goals in the new year by taking these steps which may also help you better prepare for the future. If there is a potential major downturn in the economy later in the year, a recession might affect you less than others who do not prepare.
- Cook your own food and make coffee at home.
If you are the average thrifty American family of four, you’re probably spending around $966/month. Five-dollar daily coffees will surely bust anyone’s budget, but that’s common knowledge by now. By making your own meals and coffee, buying generic products, and forgoing alcohol you will save money on your food budget. Make sure to plan out your meals each week and take a good look at what you already have in your pantry before you head to the store.
- Don’t ignore or forget unutilized subscription payments.
Do you have Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, paramount, and every other streaming service in existence? There is no point in subscribing to several streaming services when you can only watch one show at a time. Cancel all but one and rotate through them as you finish shows. Check your credit card and bank statements for charges to streaming services, gym memberships, online gaming services, apps, cloud storage, and subscription services.
- Automate Your Savings.
It’s so much easier to avoid spending money when it is not in your checking account. Setting up direct deposit from your paycheck directly to your savings is a surefire way to save more money.
Most businesses offer direct deposits to their employees, so check to see if yours will split your paycheck between a checking and savings account. Start with as much as you are comfortable with and try to raise it yearly.
- Don’t let home repairs drain your bank account.
Did you know if your air conditioner stops working, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover it? Same with plumbing, electrical issues, appliances, and more. Not being able to make repairs could leave you in a bad situation — but a home warranty could protect you against surprise expenses.
Whether you are a brand-new homeowner or you’ve owned your home for years, a Home Warranty plan could pick up the slack where homeowner’s insurance falls short.
- Consider vehicle expenses.
Depending on how often you drive, gas may be a hefty monthly expense. Check if your go-to grocery store partners with a gas station to offer fuel discounts. Certain apps can also alert you to deals at nearby gas stations or let you know which locations are cheaper.
You should also compare car insurance rates as you could be spending hundreds of dollars every year on overpriced, second-rate car insurance.
- Wait a Day
Impulse buys are the bane of our existence. The urge to grab something when you see it in the store can be irresistible! Also, mindlessly scrolling through online shopping platforms like Amazon and Etsy is a recipe for disaster. Let your purchase sit in your cart for a day or two to make sure you absolutely want it and read the online reviews before following through with a purchase. Patience is key – odds are, the item will still be available tomorrow. Most of the time, you will forget all about it, which can save you tons of money over time.